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We Are Now 100% Running on the Amazon Cloud!2021-02-24T00:17:02+00:00

Vancouver Real Estate Websites on the Amazon Cloud for faster service and speed

We Are Now 100% Running on the Amazon Cloud!

Hello Amazon! In the last while we have been incrementally working to migrate our website infrastructure and digital assets towards the Amazon Cloud (known as Amazon Web Services). We are ecstatic to announce that on September 10th 2018, we successfully completed the final stages to fully migrate everything to Amazon Web Services.

Real estate website speed comparison between old server and new amazon cloud

Faster Site Load, Better Reliability For Our Customers

Our real estate websites are now running on a far more superior network that benefits our customers with faster load-times and more reliability, while giving our development team more productivity and power.

Our response/latency tests show solid results. Logan Wilson’s Victoria Luxury Group website responded 44% faster, and Nest Presale’s Vancouver Presales/Assignments website responded 22% faster on the new Amazon Cloud!

These figures show the time spent to start downloading the website & attached assets, which has a significant impact in page load time. Total load times vary depending on number and size of photos.

Our Website Features

Up to 45% Faster Response Time!

The graphs show the average response time reduction for each file/resource download, which accumulates to page download speeds.

Every webpage requires dozens of assets to load – style files, javascript files, logo image files, buttons, listing photos… the list goes on. 

Reducing the response time between requests responses from your computer to our servers mean exponential improvement in total page load time, resulting in a much smoother & pleasant browsing experience.

Did we mention faster-loading pages are preferred by Google as well?

Our Website Features

Real estate website speed comparison between old server and new amazon cloud

Exponential Growth Potential on AWS!

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is very well-known to constantly stay ahead of the curve, offering newer & better cloud services for better IT management.  On AWS, expanding our server capacity is a breeze compared to conventional servers, preparing us for enterprise-grade IT management and scalability!

Some of the world’s largest corporations rely on AWS for their web & cloud computing needs, including Netflix, AirBNB, General Electric, Phillips, Toshiba, Yelp, Zillow and more. We are very excited to be prepared for growth & innovation with the Amazon Cloud as our foundation!

amazon web services exponential growth potentials with web and cloud computing needs on aws

Serving More Real Estate Professionals Across The Continent

Brixwork has expanded its offerings to Victoria BC (VREB), Vancouver Island BC (VIREB), Kelowna BC (OMREB), Edmonton AB (EREB) and Ottawa ON (OREB). We have launched , and will launch, several brokerage websites with more performance demand than ever. The migration to AWS positions us well to quickly respond to the increasing demand from all over North America without being shackled by hardware limitations & delays. Check out our real estate website design servicesas well as the MLS® Reciprocity Integrations we offer.

Our Design Services
Our MLS® Services

Four Reasons For Realtors To Claim A Place on Google My Business2019-08-30T19:38:59+00:00

Google My Business (formerly known as Google+ business pages) is an essential piece of online presence for any real estate professional. It affects how you appear on Google results, as well as how often you appear. This directly correlates to your website visits. It also affects how easy you can be found from mobile devices.

#1 – Higher chance of appearing on mobile & map search results

Having a listing on Google Business gives you a better chance of being found by people searching online. With the sharp increase in mobile device usage, more and more people are searching up business on the fly as they are on the road, using the mobile Google Maps app available on most handheld devices.

#2 – Easier for your customers to find your phone number & website

Google Business results on mobile or desktop have a quick-link to the phone # (great on mobile searches) as well as a link directly to the website, making it easier for people to reach you.

#3 – Enhanced search appearance on Google search results

Websites can be embedded with meta data that claims a relationship with any Google My Business page. In the example below when searching for “Dave Jenkins”, along with the primary website being at the top, the Google Business page details show up on the right with even more information such as your star rating, reviews, and additional photos.

realtor google profile and location on google search results

3 Easy Steps to Get Your Real Estate Profile on Google+!

#1 – Go to Google Places

First thing you should do is to visit the Google Places page. If you’re not logged in with your Google Apps email account or a @gmail.com account, you will have to do so.

#2 – Create your listing or claim an existing one

Follow the prompts or buttons to start entering your business data. It’s very straight-forward – just read everything on the screen carefully as you progress.

If an independent Google user has registered that a certain business or store exists, Google will attempt to find that listing based on your phone number or address entered. This is often the case with small retailers. This is probably not the case with most real estate agents, so chances are you will have to create a brand new listing.

#3 – Verify that you belong in that address

To ensure that no false or misleading business listings are created, Google will send out a postcard to the address that you specified, which contains a verification code that you need to enter on the Google Places system in order to verify that you are indeed the owner or operator of the business at the reported location.

Why We Use Google Drive at Brixwork (and at home)2015-06-17T23:06:44+00:00

Brixwork Real Estate Marketing uses Google Drive because it saves time and leads to increased efficiency, and makes project management between multiple team members easy. 

Benefits of Using The Cloud-Based Drive System

  • Anything on Google Drive can be viewed from any internet-enabled device if you log in
  • You can easily access your files on-the-go with the Android or iPhone app
  • If your devices are lost, stolen, or damaged, all your files are still safe and accessible
  • It’s easy to share files with clients directly from the cloud

How Realtors® Can Use Google Drive & Share

  • Client listing files (photo, data, floor plan, etc.)
  • Domain registration info (where you bought it, what the login is)
  • CRA/IRS account numbers and login information for tax reporting

Making Your Personal Easy With Google Drive

  • We’ve all had those moments of frantically searching for an old invoice to claim a warranty repair on an expensive device. Google Drive serves as a digital backup and can solve the problem of misplaced receipts by scanning and storing your receipts into the cloud drive.
  • You can also use the system for personal things such as storing your eye glasses or contact lens prescriptions, along with booking logs for vacations.
  • Private insurance information & claim instructions can be stored online.

We recommend using Google Apps with your website domain so that your email is set up under your domain for a professional presence (such as daniel@vancouverrealtor.com), and you also get google drive storage & calendar/contact sync. The Brixwork team can set up the websites & domains to behave as such.

Need Help Setting Up The Cloud System & Training?

Darci Laroque offers consultation with setting up Google Apps calendar/email/contact sync between iPhones/iPads/Laptops, as well as cloud drive & CRM set up for more efficient workflows. Visit Darci’s website for more information at http://www.darcitalks.com.

Mobile Browser Usage vs Desktop Browser Usage2017-11-06T19:17:03+00:00

Mobile Browser Usage VS Desktop Browser Usage

The fact that mobile browsing of the internet is on the rise is no secret nor surprise – but by how much, and what are the current statistics for the real estate industry, specifically? We took the Google Analytics statistics on 10 of our most active Realtor® websites, and aggregated the total visitors from mobile and non-mobile devices.

38%

More Than a Third

The numbers we researched based on the last 30 days of traffic (as of March 25th 2015) revealed that more than 1/3 of the visitors were visiting from mobile phones or tablets. 61.64% were visiting from conventional desktops or laptops.

 

What This Means to Realtors®

Whether your clients are using your website to search for listings, or checking out your credentials to ensure you’re the real deal, your website must be mobile responsive and ready for all screen sizes. This also has implications on your Google rankings.

Our Website Design
Our Portfolio

Brixwork Version 4.0 development underway2014-11-14T17:32:40+00:00

We are excited beyond anything to announce that the new version 4.0 of Brixwork is under development. It actually has been for several weeks now, and this is our first official release on the status of development.

The overall direction of the new and improved version is to make the back-end much easier to use with a brand new user interface, while making it more accessible from mobile devices. There are functionality improvements too, of course.

What this means for our real estate website clients:

All of our clients who are subscribed to our services will receive this upgrade when it rolls out, which is forecasted to be before the end of the year. This will give you a much easier to use, and more mobile-accessible back-end from which you can manage your website & listings, but also quickly glance at your listing data while you’re on the go, or perform a quick MLS® search.

 

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Mobile friendly real estate website system
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Features Already Coded, Implemented & Tested

  • New mobile-first visual framework
  • Login by email rather than username
  • Password recovery by email
  • Mobile friendly morph navigation
  • Quicker login mechanism

Some upcoming Features Planned (these are not all!)

  • Level-based login to restrict users from certain sections for security.
  • Better pages & subpages display.
  • Easier MLS® import modules.
  • Manual photo-import from the MLS® for pre-existing listings.
  • Basic Google Analytics data integrated.

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We have been conducting user surveys, direct interviews with some clients who came into our office, as well as staff meetings to find ways to make the back-end more user-friendly, intuitive, and overall a pleasure to use.

Do you have any feedback, ideas or complaints? Leave it in the comments below!

Infographic: Canadian Internet, Mobile & Social Usage Stats2012-11-22T00:10:42+00:00

Canadians are far ahead of the curve when it comes to being online savvy, according to this beautiful infographic put together by 6S Marketing, a leading large-scale online marketing firm based in Vancouver BC, lead by the famous Chris Breikss.

These statistics once again prove the importance of a well-organized online marketing platform, whether your business is big or small in its scale. Since our release of 2011 mobile browser & social media usage statistics, it appears that the number has gone up even more! A beautiful & functional website, search engine presence, social media utilization etc. can all help you achieve your marketing goals, if you are consistent & diligent with it.

Please click here to read the original full post by 6S Marketing on Canadian Connectedness. The 6S Marketing blog contains some very interesting information.

Our Efforts to Meet These Trends

Apart from always creating the best designed real estate websites, we also lead the industry with the most advanced features and functionalities to allow our clients to take full advantage of this massive change in our society and consumer behaviour. Our Responsive Mobile Grid system allows your website to be optimized for any handheld device, including iPhones, Blackberries, Samsung/LG/Nokia/Motorola Androids, iPads etc. Our continuous innovation in social media marketing, including the recent addition of Pinterest pin buttons to our real estate listing pages, will help propel our clients to get more web traffic and gain more exposure in a competitive real estate market.

A Big Thanks to 6S For Creating This Infographic!

This is a fantastic infographic with great educational benefits to anybody who is involved in, or interested in, online marketing and mobile technology. The team at BRIXWORK would like to send a big fat thank-you to 6S Marketing for putting together this wonderful artwork.

Best Time To Post on Facebook or Twitter (and email)2012-09-14T16:27:04+00:00

Timing on Social Media is important to generate the most click-throughs and impressions. Bit.ly (a URL shortener system used by Facebook/Twitter posts to link the final destination) released this statistic on click-through rates based on the time of the day and the day of the week. There is also a cool infographic (courtesy of Raka Creative) that visually displays the best times to hit Facebook & Twitter.

When to Post On Facebook

Links posted on Facebook on a weekday between 1 to 4 in the afternoon have the most effectiveness in generating traffic, peaking at around 3pm on Wednesday.

When to Post on Twitter

Twitter’s patterns are very similar to that of Facebook – 1 to 3pm during the weekdays gets the most click-throughs, while Friday afternoons dramatically decreasing in its efficiency.

When to Email

Although the attached infographic does not cover emails, we found reliable information on Mashable.com on the best time to send out email newsletters. Don’t forget the impact of the recent surge of mobile browsing habits – many people look at their emails and click on links from their smartphones. Is your website mobile-traffic ready?

The Significance of Mobile Browser Traffic2012-03-08T07:18:38+00:00

“It’s not that big of a chunk, let’s not worry about it for now.”

That was the answer from most people when discussing optimizing their websites for mobile devices few years ago. If you’re still thinking this, you are dead wrong, and here’s why.

Apple Sold More iPads In Q4 Than Any Single Manufacturer Sold PC Devices.. EVER

More iPads sold in Q4 than PCs sold by competitors in… forever!

It’s true. Apple’s iPad sales in Q4 of 2011 alone have exceeded the number of PCs sold by any other competitors in the same quarter. This figure includes big names such as HP, Acer, Lenovo etc., and it shows the staggering growth of the mobile devices market. And let’s not forget the iPad isn’t the only mobile browsing device by Apple – there’s also the iPhone, which is selling at a record pace – in fact, as of January 2012, they figured out that there are more iPhones sold around the world per day than there are new babies born.

The new iPad, by the way, has some striking new features, such as a true retina display (a huge improvement from the iPad 2 from 2011), a much better camera, and 4G browsing speed! With 10 hours of battery life on the efficient-yet-fast A5X processor, most iPad users already prefer the iPad for emailing, browsing and much more, over their traditional computers. Yes, we are fans of Apple products here at Sonika Studios Inc. and BRIXWORK. In fact we operate our business on more than 50% Apple computers [The iPad on Apple.com].

What about other mobile devices such as smartphones?

iPads and iPhones are not the only ones in the market although they are easily the most dominant brand. The usage of smartphones in Canada saw the biggest growth between 2010 and 2011 – and that trend will only continue. Same goes for the USA – it is estimated that by 2015, just under half of Americans will be on smartphones. Smartphones, in case you are confused, includes all the cell phones that are now days more on the line of mini computers with the cellular phone function attached to it – this includes the Blackberry, Android devices, the Samsung Galaxy – you name it.

Ratio of Mobile Traffic to Our Customer’s Sites

Based on our Google Analytics data on BRIXWORK {real estate} sites, between 15% to 25% of visitors are viewing the sites on mobile devices. That’s significant – and on the rise ever yet. It is now critical to consumer websites to prepare for this surge of mobile traffic.

What is BRIXWORK and Sonika Studios Inc. going to do about this?

We already have done a lot, and we intend to do a lot more. Our websites are already mobile browser friendly by scrapping the usage of Adobe Flash (it’s been years, we lost count!), using standard-compliant coding structure, and avoiding the usage of plug-ins. We’re not done yet; we’re doing more! We are now offering real estate websites with a “responsive grid” system. This means that the website’s layout and structure will change depending on the size of the device from which your customers are visiting. Without over-stretching or over-squeezing, we are able to deliver scalable mobile adaptations at a very reasonable cost – far better than the traditional alternative of preparing a separate website codebase just for mobile visitors (I’m sure many of you noticed your browsers pointing towards m.facebook.com for example – Facebook has the cash to develop parallel sites for different devices, but it is not the case for neighbourhood Realtors®).

What about existing websites?

We are able to upgrade existing real estate websites for our customers to a responsive grid website for a modest cost. The cost will vary depending on your current design, and the time at which your design was done. Don’t worry; if your website was built after 2010, it is already mobile friendly (it just doesn’t have the new fancy responsive grid system). This is not a mandatory upgrade, but we are certainly happy to provide you with it.

Scalable Websites for Better Mobile & Tablet Performance2012-03-06T06:43:27+00:00

As we constantly strive to stay ahead of our competitors (who have been recently catching up frantically with some of our 2 year old features such as descriptive & Google friendly URLs), we are preparing another offering of some great functionality. Some of our clients’ websites have experienced close to 4X traffic from mobile devices between 2010 and 2011, and the trend continues. Being able to accomodate the mobile web traffic from iPhones, Blackberries, Android phones, and other tablets such as the iPad and the Playbook is critical to ensuring your customers see the best of you at all times.

Although our websites have already been mobile-friendly by following standards such as not using Flash animation, and using a 960 grid which is still considered the most universal website grid system that is more applicable to more devices, we decided to take it a step further.

A scalable grid concept has been adopted by BRIXWORK {real estate} after lengthy research. With this new system, your websites will automatically scale, and have different display styles on different parts depending simply on the size of the viewport on the client browser. This is a far more superior option compared to having a separate mobile site developed, and here’s why:

  • With a separate mobile site, the detection of devices is unreliable as new devices are released in the market all the time. It will inevitably choke at times.
  • A separate mobile site is very expensive. Either you have a mobile site that looks nothing like your regular site, OR a much higher budget is required to manage both regular and mobile websites, which is often a burden for small businesses. It’s no big deal to Facebook, but for our neighbourhood Realtors®, this is not reasonable.
  • This technology depends solely on the size of the viewport. That means this can accomodate people with smaller screens, or the odd occasions when somebody opens your website on a very small browser window. It’s not limited!

With our scalable mobile tech we hope to deliver a better Realtor®-client interaction to our clients.  Here’s an example of how the scaling works, using our new website which is going to be launched this week:

Real Estate Website on Full Size Browser

The new BRIXWORK website on a full size browser

Real Estate Website on Tablet viewport

The new BRIXWORK website on a smaller viewport such as a tablet

Real Estate Website on Tablet viewport

The new BRIXWORK website on an iPhone or similar small device

 

January 19, 2021

Century 21 Agents & Brokerages Website Design Showcase

Brand compliance doesn't mean you cannot stand out from the crowd. Take a look at these gems for Century 21 brokerages & agents across Canada!

Written By Jessica Hussey | Design & Visuals, Featured Clients

October 29, 2020

3 Benefits of Having Community Guide Pages on your Website

Custom content pages are a gold-mine for Google™ and even better you can curate the pages to your audience and entice readers to stay longer. Take a peek at what the 3 key benefits of community pages are.

Written By Martyna Noworyta | Design & Visuals, Marketing & Promotion

November 12, 2020

Hiring – Production Line Graphic Designer

Join our team to create beautiful visuals in one of the most active niches in Canada - marketing real estate. We are a boutique firm with in-house design only.

Written By Jeff Kee | Company Updates

September 18, 2020

Instagram Dos and Don’ts for Realtors

Good design, consistency and originality on Instagram posts will help you create an impressive feed that will outshine all of the other thousands of Real Estate professionals. Check out the do's and don'ts for Instagram!

Written By Martyna Noworyta | Design & Visuals, Marketing & Promotion, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media & Marketing, Technology & Trends

July 15, 2020

Digital Dominance for Real Estate Agents in a COVID World

Modern business requires modern tools. Here are a list of critical cloud software & apps that every real estate professional can use to increase efficiency & close more deals.

Written By Martyna Noworyta | Design & Visuals, Marketing & Promotion, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media & Marketing, Technology & Trends

April 14, 2020

Ways To Increase Online Presence & Brand Awareness for Real Estate

There is increased online presence & brand awareness for real estate during COVID-19 crisis. Check out great ways to increase your website engagement here!

Written By Martyna Noworyta | Design & Visuals, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media & Marketing

July 15, 2019

Offering Edmonton Real Estate Website with EREB IDX Integration!

Hello Edmonton! Brixwork has completed the integration of the EREB MLS® IDX (Reciprocity) system. We are bringing our beautiful website templates with great search engine & social media performance to Edmonton real estate agents! Take a look through our website design options!

Written By Jeff Kee | Features & Development

June 6, 2019

Boutique Project Marketing for Townhomes and Condos

Brixwork has been providing project marketing services for new builds for years. As demand for more new boutique townhome/condo projects increases, so does the need for higher-level project marketing. No matter how big or small, your project deserves a proper brand presence that'll set you apart from the rest.

Written By Jeff Kee | Design & Visuals, Featured Clients, Features & Development

May 7, 2019

Notable Realtor® Teams and Brokerages Custom Website Showcase

High performance teams and boutique brokerages need the best online image possible. Brixwork combines functional features and exceptional visuals to create custom website designs built to stand out!

Written By Jeff Kee | Design & Visuals, Featured Clients

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